Mama, I Want To Sing: The Next Generation, written by Vy Higginsen , directed by Ken Wydro and original music by Wesley Naylor, begins performances at The Dempsey Theater (127 W. 127th Street Between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. and Malcolm X Boulevards) on Saturday, May 21st.

Mama, I Want To Sing: The Next Generation tells the story of a talented young gospel singer embraces secular music despite the strong objections of her mother.
Mama, I Want To Sing: The Next Generation features Bettina Pennon as Mama, Sandra Huff as Sister Carrie, Knoelle Higginson as Doris Winter, Tyrone Flowers as Reverend Winters, and Elijiah A. Lewis as Minister of Music.

"If you saw Mama, I Want to Sing before, come again and bring your children and grandchildren to see this African-American classic," says Vy Higginsen.

Mama, I Want To Sing has played for eight years Off-Broadway (1983-1991) in New York, the show has become the longest running, best loved musical. It also played London's West End and a three-year tour across the USA, seven tours throughout Japan and multiple appearances in the Caribbean, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Italy.

Mama, I Want To Sing: The Next Generation begins performances Saturday, May 21st at The Dempsey Theater (127 W 127th Street, between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. and Malcolm X Boulevards). Performances are every Saturday at 1:00 pm and 4:30 pm. General admission tickets are $35 and available at 212-868-4444. Box Office hours are Monday- Friday 12pm- 7pm and Saturday from 11:30am- 6:30pm.

For theater parties and group sales information (10 or more tickets), please call The Mama Foundation for the Arts at 212-280-1045. Subway 2/3 to 125th Street and Lenox Avenue and walk to 127th Street.

For more information on Mama I Want To Sing: The Next Generation please visit .


Vy Higginsen (Narrator, Producer and Co-Writer) a former advertising executive for Ebony magazine and New York City's First Woman in Prime Time Radio-WBLS-FM, is currently the executive director of The Mama Foundation for the Arts, which she founded in 1996. Vy has helped create a whole new generation of theatergoers and provides an opportunity for singers, musicians, and administrators to develop and practice their crafts. Born and raised in Harlem, Vy is a pioneer in the woman's movement towards creative, cultural, and economic emancipation.

Ken Wydro (Author/Producer/Director) is a published author, a seasoned professional speaker, a theatrical producer and director and an experienced seminar and workshop leader. He has conducted the THINK ON YOUR FEET workshop in major corporations. In addition, Wydro co-produced the acclaimed Broadway drama, Joe Turner's Come and Gone and American Buffalo. He also created, co-wrote, and produced Mama, I Want to Sing and Let the Music Play Gospel. For more information, go to

GREGORY M. KELLY (Musical Director) is the writer and musician for Hezekiah Walker's Love Fellowship Choir, music master for the award winning Gospel for Teens program and the co-founder/musical producer and director for a world acclaimed European touring company. Kelly has been musical director for several off Broadway gospel musicals including the 20th Anniversary performances of Mama, I Want to Sing, Gospel Is! and also played keyboards in Sing Harlem Sing!

Ahmaya Knoelle Higginson (Doris) grew up backstage and on tour across the USA, Japan and Europe with Mama, I Want to Sing. At seven years old, she performed in Sing: Mama Two with Shirley Caesar at Madison Square Garden. Higginson attended the Professional Children's School, Professional Performing Arts High School, Manhattan School of Music, and the American Dramatic and Music Academy (AMDA). She has performed in Gospel Is... and Sing, Harlem, Sing! internationally and on recordings. Ahmaya Knoelle is on the musical staff at the Mama Foundation for the Arts and works extensively with Gospel for Teens.

BETTINA PENNON (Mama Winter) is the youngest child of Reverend Roy and Mrs. Lillian Pennon. She has been singing since the age of four and comes from a musical family. She loves to sing and lift the spirits of all who will listen. Pennon is the proud mother of Bryce Anthony and seeks to be a role model for him. She has shared the stage with countless legends and is honored to share the stage in presenting this legacy. Bettina loves to sing!

SANDRA HUFF (Sister Carrie) A singer/songwriter/flutist/recording artist, Sandra is a New York native and graduate of LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and New York University. She has performed in the United States, Europe and Africa. Her recorded works include "Love Takes Time," Agape Live I & II and a new release, "Believe," on Pure Funk Records. Sandra played the role of Sandy in Pure Gospel America and Martha in Hereafter. Sandra also studied American folk music with Sonny Ochs and has appeared on stage with renowned folk singer Pete Seeger and The Hudson River Sloop Singers. She is the worship leader for the Agape Family Worship Center in Rahway, New Jersey.

Tyrone FlowerS (Reverend Winter) began performing with the Mama Foundation for the Arts when he was a teenager just out of high school. He blossomed as an artist and toured with the Mama Foundation and other groups in the United States and abroad. Flowers teaches High School and is an elder who loves preaching and proclaiming the good news of our Lord and Saviour through word and song. An artist, Flowers designs hats for sisters in the church and anyone who likes to make a statement through their crowns.

ELIJAH AHMAD LEWIS (Minister of Music), has been with The Mama Foundation for the Arts since the age of 13 when he auditioned for and was accepted to Gospel for Teens Currently he supports the younger teens as a vocal coach and musical director. Elijah is a graduating senior at the Cicely L. Tyson Community School of the Performing and Fine Arts. Elijah's first professional role was Lookin for Luv in All the Wrong Places. His production credits include The Piano Lesson, A Lesson Before Dying, Once on this Island, and Guys & Dolls. He is a dedicated member of Highway Holiness in Hackensack, New Jersey.


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